Welcome!

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My dear Ballet Philippines Alumni,

How have you been?

Time flies, indeed. It only seems like yesterday that we were all together in the CCP Rehearsal Hall sweating it out for the next big show. I’m sure all of you are doing well—whether as dancers, teachers, choreographers, directors, or even as professionals in other fields.

I do hope you’re all in touch with each other too. Nothing is stronger than the ties built in battle—and with the kind of work we did in the company, I sure felt like I was in the army!

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Happy New Room!

Happy new year everyone!

Here’s a bit of HAPPY news: the Company Room is finished and already in use!

So instead of us talking about it, here are photos to show you how great the Company Room looks now.

The photo on top used to look like this:

Co. Room Photo from the door

Hay…

 

Remember those ugly sinks?

The sinks that need to be changed!

The sinks that need to be changed!

 

This is what’s there now:

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New lavatories in the Gents’ bathroom

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Yes, pwede na mag-check-in. Check in time is at 2 pm. Just don’t be late for class.

 

New tiles all around!

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We reused the old bathroom doors and gave them a fresh coat of paint

 

And the locker rooms…

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There was a mini turnover last November 5. Here are a few of those who came by…

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Standing: Alice Reyes, Real Living’s Kaye Lopez and Rachelle Medina, Paul Morales, Annette Mariano, Kit Trofeo, Gina KG. Sitting: Rhea Bautista, Janine Arisola, Tim Cabrera, EJ Arisola

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Snacks!

 

 

Again, THANK YOU to all the donors. In the next post, we will give a proper THANK YOU to all those who donated.

And to those who wish to help out with future BPAA projects, let us know! Be sure you’re counted and in touch.

 

The next project will be up soon. Stay tuned!

 

BPAA Presents: The New and Improved Company Room (Thanks to all the donors!)

Please mark the date: November 5, Wednesday, 12 noon. BP Company Room Turnover.

The past couple of months were a frenzy of activities for everyone at BP.

As the current company hosted hundreds of dancers—all members of the growing BP family—and then embarked on a month-long North American Tour, the Alumni Steering Committee got to work on the Company Room Makeover.

This renovation was truly a labor of love. Alice Reyes was at the forefront of fundraising, endlessly writing all the alumni she could get in touch with, while Annette Cruz-Mariano and Teen-teen Maranan-Novales did the ground work from purchasing all the requirements to supervising the laborers.  Gina Katigbak-Garcia and Nina Anonas did the hairsplitting accounting and paperwork. Bettina Escano-PB, Judell de Guzman-Sicam and Verna Fajilan-Brazil were instrumental in collecting the checks and making sure they got here. Special thanks to Lynley Teng for getting her team to work on this at cost and helping us get the materials at to-the-trade prices, and to Rachelle Medina of Real Living Magazine for giving us the initial drawings and sketches, and making us dream about how nice it could be.

BP Company Room makeover

So finally, on Wednesday November 5, we will be turning over the Company Room to the current BP members! We hope you can all come to this momentous occasion.

Here, we would like to acknowledge all the people who have generously given to the Company Room Makeover Project. We still have several pledges that are coming in, and if you are still about to hand in your donation, it’s not too late yet! You can still give your donations via BP, the Steering Committee, or your Batch Coordinators.

If you want to see the in-progress photos, keep reading after the list of donors.

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BPAA Launches with an Exhibit

Next week, September 26, the BP Alumni Association will officially launch, and we invite ALL of YOU to be there!

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Cecile Sicangco-Ibarrola with Julio Bocca and the cast of “Giselle” 1991

The timing couldn’t be more perfect, as that weekend is also the Blue Moon Gala and Homecoming Gala weekend. For the first time in decades, the company is restaging Norman Walker’s “Songs of a Wayfarer” for the Blue Moon Gala (Sept 26-27). The Homecoming Gala, on the other hand, which will be performed on Sunday, Sept. 28, will proudly feature BP’s “offspring”—dance companies and dance schools from the Philippines and the rest of the world!

The BPAA will launch with an exhibit—lovingly prepared by Gina Katigbak-Garcia, Jojo Mamangun, Karla Javier and Caroline Boncodin-Santos, and will showcase photos of the company’s vast repertoire and more.

This will be a great chance for everyone to walk down memory lane. Wouldn’t it be nice to see yourself in those photos, whether you were in them as as the principal dancer or lead photobomber?

PLUS we’ve added a special feature in which everyone can join.

As part of the exhibit, there will be a board where all alumni can POST their OWN PHOTOS. It can be dancing photos or behind-the-scenes photos, as long as it’s hard-copy, printed photos. Like the ones we used to develop in the store.

Cecile Sicangco and Julio Bocca in "Giselle" (photos courtesy of Cecile Sicangco-Ibarrola)

Cecile Sicangco and Julio Bocca in “Giselle”
(photos courtesy of Cecile Sicangco-Ibarrola)

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1992 Tour in Spain (photo courtesy of Cecile Sicangco-Ibarrola)

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The BP Boyz (photo courtesy of Cecile Sicangco-Ibarrola)

When you get to the exhibit, just tack your photos on and sign up in the guest book (with contact details please!) and that’s it!

Just remember that these photos won’t be returned to you and will form part of the BPAA archives, so be sure to post only photos you’re willing to donate.

So start going through your photo albums and let the reminiscing begin!

See you there!

Extreme Makeover

By now, some of you may have already heard of BPAA’s first major project: the BP Company Room Makeover.  

For 45 years, the Company Room has been the home of BP dancers. This is where people get ready for the day, rest in between exhausting rehearsals, and bond with their co-dancers. The unisex bathroom is probably the most unusual arrangement of all—but we’ve all learned to live with seeing the opposite sex queuing to do their thing. (Yikes!) BP’s DNA is literally ALL OVER that room! 

The Common Area... with matching broken linoleum and kalat

The Common Area… with matching broken linoleum and kalat

The sinks that need to be changed!

The sinks that need to be changed!

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Alice Reyes shows Rachelle Medina the sad state of the Company Room, while Annette Cruz-Mariano and Rhea Dumdum-Bautista look on

Here’s a fun fact: the company room has not had a decent renovation since the beginning of time! Ok, maybe once they added shelving to keep archive reels, and they added linoleum, but that’s it. Today, you’ll see leak stains on the walls, and the bathroom tiles have chipped. The chipped floor linoleum is moving—and therefore dangerous—and the ladies side is covered by a dirty white cloth and a corrugated board taped to the wall.

You get the idea. The Company Room needs an Extreme Makeover! 

We want to improve the flooring of the room. Add proper partitions and doors to the ladies’ and gents’ lockers. Have a proper pantry complete with sink in the common lounge. Add decent sitting areas. And most important of all: improve the bathroom. Have a separate men’s and women’s rest room, change the bathroom fixtures and re-tile the floor. It’s quite a lot, but we figured, since we’re already doing it, we better do it right!

The floor plan

The floor plan

So here’s what the Steering Committee has done so far:

1. Set up a Makeover Committee. 

HEAD: Annette Cruz-Mariano

With the support of Teen Teen Maranan-Novales

2. Talked to design professionals. 

Initial design studies and pegs: Rachelle Medina (EIC of Real Living Magazine), who has been gracious enough to donate her time to consult on the project

Contractor/Supervisor: Lynley Teng, a former BP scholar who now has several businesses, including an interior design and development/construction company. She has generously donated her time and design fees to the project; she is also giving the construction work AT COST.  

3. Set a timetable.

The committee is targeting the end of September to begin construction. The Company will be on a US Tour in October and we want to make full use of that time to finish construction. 

 

So now, we really need to raise funds!

The whole project is estimated at P600,000. We would like to ask everyone’s help to make this happen. Donating is easy. Here are two ways:

1. You can choose to buy a “Tile” or donate ANY amount that you can. Here are the tile prices per area in the world, the persons in charge of collecting and how to get in touch with them:

USA: $100/Tile (or ANY amount)

In-charge: Mica Bernas (micabernas[at]gmail.com)

Europe: Euros 100/Tile (or ANY amount)

In-charge: Bettina Escaño Papoli-Barawati (escano-pb[at]web.de)

Hong Kong: HK$ 200/Tile (or ANY amount)

In-charge: Verna Fajilan-Brazil (mvernaf[at]yahoo.com)

Philippines: Php 1000/Tile (or ANY amount)

In-charge: Nina Anonas (nina.ecoledeballetmanille[at]yahoo.com)

You may go through your batch reps so you can get together to pool resources together and donate as a group. Here are the batch reps: 

Edna Vida Froilan

Monette Victoria

Cecile Sicangco-Ibarrola

Judell de Guzman-Sicam

Verna Fajilan-Brazil

Kris-Belle Paclibar-Mamangun

Jojo Mamangun

If you are in another area not covered by the Area Coordinators, please email your batch rep and say your intention to donate. We will work out how to receive the donation. 

2. You can also donate your time by helping us put together small fundraising efforts in your area. Last June, for example, Toni Lopez-Gonzalez-Garcia organised a Zumbathon at BP’s newly minted Studio 1. It was fun AND a success! We made over P50,000 in just one night! You can do the same thing in your own studio. Click here to see what went down that night.

If you have ideas on how to raise funds for the Company Room—bake sales, garage sales, Zumbathons in your studio, etc—the person to coordinate with is Joanne Ko-dela Calzada (joannekodelacalzada[at]gmail.com).

 

So far we have raised over Php150,000 already. We hope you can be part of this project, whether as a donor or as an event organiser. It would be wonderful to do something concrete for today’s generation of BP dancers. 

 

Cheers!

 

 

Steering Committee

Who is this BPAA Steering Committee anyway?

Yes, we should address this question!

The Steering Committee is simply a group of people who have been meeting and coordinating, trying to get our projects going. It started out as a gathering at Alice Reyes’ home that ended up being the initial group helping to push the BPAA projects forward. If you weren’t in those meetings, please don’t feel offended! It just so happened we were around to be asked, but we really, really want everybody to be involved. Despite adding to the myriad things we all need to get done, the BPAA is fun! During meetings we get to digress to chismis and throwbacks before AR puts us back on track.

So here’s a list of who we are right now. Please feel free to volunteer!—

Some of the BPAA Steering committee members with BP's current directors

Some of the BPAA Steering committee members with BP’s current directors

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